Unbridle control leads to corruption
Spying on American citizens without court approval and denying reproductive rights to women have one thing in common—power and control. Arguments of one being about protecting our liberty and the other an innocent life are only ruses to disguise the real goal—the imposition of will to control the lives of common people. Doing so solidifies the grasp on power and gives the promulgators a free hand to accomplish their ultimate goal, and often there’s a pot of gold waiting for them at the end of that rainbow.
Lord Acton enunciated the famous dictum, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Recently, Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flake observed, “We simply have too much power,” then added, “We Republicans have abused that power badly over the past several years.” For five years, Republicans have had virtual unbridled control over all three branches of government. With that has come little accountability, too few daring to challenge the Bush White House or incur the wrath of Dick Cheney.
For five years, one was hard pressed to find a Republican that was not a sycophant to The Leader, to the point that one wondered which allegiance trumped the other—the Republic or the Party. Karl Rove has made no bones about his goal to institutionalize the Republican Party as the “permanent majority,” also known as a “one-party state.” Modern history is replete with such—communist Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea; fascist Italy and Spain; Nazi Germany; and, until the late 20th century, the PRI in Mexico. In one-party states, the opposition is uniformly denigrated. Hermann Goering of the Third Reich succinctly phrased it: “It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.” And that has been the strategy of the Bush team: to marginalize those who dare to stand for the Republic and the Constitution, by use of smear tactics, misleading statements, and outright lies, repeated and trumpeted by rightwing media outlets and journalists.
The consequence has been a Culture of Corruption that is exploding, finally, onto the national consciousness. It may seem like a recent phenomenon, but its history is deep-rooted—from the McCarthy witch-hunt, through Nixon’s Watergate endeavors, to George Bush, the progeny of this fascistic impulse. Under the guise of war—perpetual war, for terrorism will never be defeated even by his own admission—Bush asserts powers not delegated to him by the Constitution or FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). In the spring of 2004, President Bush unequivocally stated that he never spies on Americans without a court order. As we know, he now admits he has and still does—so, he lied.
Corruption goes far beyond the Iraqi War and “war on terrorism” debate with regard to political control. It reeks of the stench of personal power grab and gain: Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, recently resigned “Duke” Cunningham, George Bush, along with former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed and so many others all accepted money or other perks directly from indicted Jack Abramoff. Republicans all, and their defense can be likened to that of Hester Prynne of The Scarlet letter had she chosen to point her finger at all the other young maidens and claim they were screwing around too—except that Hester would have been right and the Republicans wrong. The fact is Jack Abramoff made no personal contributions to the campaign coffers of any Democrat.
Compounding this Culture of Corruption, Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff “Scooter” Libby shortly will be having his day in court for the outing of former CIA agent Valerie Plame in retribution for her husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson blowing the whistle on Bush and his false claims about Saddam securing necessary “yellow cake” uranium from Niger to produce his phantom WMD. To date, Bush’s chief of staff Karl Rove has wheedled his way from the grasp of Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, but for him, the day of reckoning may not be too far off.
Recently, President Bush said to “connect the dots” when it comes to his justification for spying on Americans without following the legal protocol. In the process, let’s connect as well the dots of the scandal and corruption that has brewed during his presidency. When so doing, it will not take a rocket scientist to surmise that Lord Acton was not only right then but also now, as is Rep. Jeff Flake.
Truer today than then: “A lot of so-called conservatives today don’t know what the word means.” Barry Goldwater, 1994
Blue collar victory: Congratulations to both the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now that pedigree quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have been bruised, soiled, and have limped from the field, common guys Jake Plummer and Ben Roethlisberger, bearded and scruffy with dirt under their nails, will lead their teams to decide which team should be America’s champion. Sunday’s game is for those that work hard, can be depended upon, whose word is honorable, understand they put their trousers on one leg at a time like everyone else, and never give up—in other words, for the true heroes of life. Go Broncos!